The Revolution Will Be Televised -- OUYA, the $99 gaming console, powered by Android, designed by Yves Behar, where all the games are free to try.
Have you heard of OUYA? The android based console launching soon
Forget about the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation, OUYA will be available is stores in June. OUYA is the Android-based game console that kickstarted last year and was able to raise $8.5 million. According to its developers it will be available on GameStop, Best Buy and Amazon by June 2013. The mini console will be going for a cool $99 and Amazon has already designed a nice preorder page for those who are in a hurry to get it.
The OUYA is a console that comes with its own software development kit and developers that backed the kickstarter already have their hands on it. The average person that pledged via the kickstarter can hope that the console will get to their doorsteps by March this year. The OUYA company also promises that the pre-orders made on its website will be fulfilled in April. That implies that the mini console will already be in people’s hand before they get to look at the new versions of the PlayStation and Xbox.
The new Android-based console will be competing with other next generation consoles like PlayStation and Xbox which are also promised to be launched before the end of this year. When the Wall Street Journal interviewed Julie Urhman, the OUYA company founder, she said she was not worried about the other competing consoles for the simple reason that OUYA had its own market. She explained that as a new company there is no need to try to kick out established consoles like Xbox but they rather have to find a way to carve their new niche. OUYA proposes a different approach to the current gaming experience a person can enjoy. It is specifically designed for the television leveraging on the screen, supporting 3D gaming and High Definition images. The controllers of this console come with touchpads. For Urhman, the OUYA console is bringing on TV the type of content that has not yet been seen on it. It is going to be inventive and creative.
When it comes to hardware, the Android-based console is far underpowered when compared to its big siblings. You certainly won’t be playing games like Uncharted 4 or anything of that caliber. A couple of Indie developers were interviewed by IGN and they said the power of the new mini console could be comparable to the late era PS2 visuals but definitely not as good as the Xbox 360. That said the game still offers a lot of potential.
One thing for sure that we know is the core market is hungry for an open platform and that could be felt during the kickstarter campaign. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the broader market also joins in. Major big companies that used to focus on console games are now moving to online games anyway.
The reality is, big companies like Sony and Microsoft offer consoles with beefier hardware and that only allows big expensive game developers with a lot of resources to design for those consoles. OUYA offers a step in a different direction. Small game developers with minimal resources can take part in it and hope for the best. Since the invention of touch screen devices, there are a lot of casual gamers that are not too much into the latest 3D breath-cutting images but wouldn’t mind spend a little time on TV playing games. This console would fit that market. User experience has turned out to be really important since the invention of the iPhone and considering the number of games launched on android devices, one can suggest that there is a real market to tap into.
Even though the OUYA has a lot of developers currently working on it, it doesn’t yet have a specific game that is going to be launched with. Nothing has been specifically designed to launch with the console. That said, being an Android platform it can still claim to have over 200 games ready to go. Those are not necessarily the best games ever but the types that can entertain the average gamer for some few hours.
At least OUYA already has over 68 000 backers that will be expecting their console by March. As the demand grows for the device, more developers are going to work on designing a game specifically for it. Nobody knows what the future really holds for this video game. The potential it offers is still huge, it might turn out to be the console of the future, who knows.